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A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Matthew Allee, (202) 580-6922 or

Beyond Guantanamo Signatories Meet with Legislators to Support Prosecutions of Terrorism Suspects in Federal Court

Beyond Guantanamo: A Bipartisan Declaration supports trials of terrorism suspects in traditional federal courts and opposes indefinite detention without charge


Today, over a dozen signatories to Beyond Guantanamo: A Bipartisan Declaration
came to Washington to meet with members of Congress to advocate for the
trial of terrorism suspects in traditional federal court, rather than
by military commission. Signatories also cautioned against using a
system of indefinite detention to hold suspects without charge or
trial. Today's efforts are particularly timely given recent fierce
debates about these issues, along with pending legislation that could
force the administration to pursue prosecutions of terrorism suspects
only in military commissions.

Released in November 2009, Beyond Guantanamo
was organized by the Constitution Project and Human Rights First. Its
signatories call on the Obama administration and Congress to support a
policy for closing Guantanamo that is consistent with our
constitutional principles and that also ensures our country's security.
Joined by nearly 140 prominent Americans, including former members of
Congress, diplomats, federal judges and prosecutors, high-level
military and government officials, as well as national security and
foreign policy experts, bar leaders, and family members of 9/11
victims, the Declaration supports prosecution of terrorism
suspects in traditional federal court, rather than by military
commission, and opposes indefinite detention without charge.

The following can be attributed to Virginia Sloan, president of the Constitution Project:

"For far too long, the national debate around how
and where to try suspected terrorists now held at Guantanamo has been
wrongly framed as a partisan dispute. It is simply wrong to believe
that national security issues have to pit Democrats against
Republicans, and conservatives against progressives. Beyond Guantanamo
is an example of policy experts from across the political spectrum who
have come together to support federal court prosecutions for suspected
terrorists and to oppose any policy of indefinite detention without

"With the Obama administration currently mulling
its options and legislation being considered in Congress that would
significantly limit the president's choices, administration officials
and members of Congress must hear from this eminent group of experts
that justice cannot be politicized, and there is clear bipartisan
consensus about the requirements of our Constitution."

The Constitution Project is a politically independent think tank established in 1997 to promote and defend constitutional safeguards. More information about the Constitution Project is available at